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Mother outraged by "brutal" ward closure at St Ann's Hospital in Tottenham
The mother of a mental health patient is outraged following the “brutal and merciless” closure of her daughter’s ward.
Anne Clancy, who lives in Palmers Green, was shocked to receive a call from her daughter last week to say that she had been thrown out of the mental health ward where she was being treated.
Ms Clancy’s daughter was receiving treatment for bipolar disorder at St Ann’s Hospital in Tottenham when the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust closed the ward.
The mother said that the Trust gave patients and staff just two hours notice and forced them to leave.
Eight of the 20 patients on the Downhill ward were moved to another hospital but Ms Clancy’s daughter was sent home even though her treatment had not finished.
Ms Clancy said: “It was a complete shock to the staff and patients. It created chaos. It was like a zoo.
“When my daughter told me that she had been evacuated and was being asked to go home I thought there must have been a fire or a flood.
“Some of the patients clearly weren’t well enough to deal with this sort of upheaval.
“It was all done in a very covert way. Even the staff didn’t know about it.”
She added: “It has sabotaged my daughter’s whole care plan.
“It cut short the arrangements we have made for her.
“We had to bring her home because it would not have been in her best interest to move her to another hospital where she knew no one.
“I was hugely angry. The staff are so demoralised. How can the Trust treat people so shoddily?”
As a result of the outcry that resulted from the sudden closure of the ward the Trust has decided to leave the 11 remaining patients there until they are ready to go home.
At this point the ward will be closed permanently.
Ms Clancy has written to her local MP to complain about the closure of the ward.
She has also written an open letter to the chief executive and directors of the Trust which ends: “I have one last thing to add and that is to say: how dare you? How absolutely dare you?”
Ms Clancy is to attend a meeting with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust on Tuesday.
She will be calling for the ward to be reopened.
In a statment the Trust said: "The Trust can confirm that Downhills ward is not closing immediately and no patients have been moved against their wishes.
"All current patients continue to be cared for on the ward until their current episode of care has finished.
"We are reviewing the situation regularly over the coming weeks and will only take the decision to close it once all of the current inpatients on the ward have finished their current episode of care.
"We recognise that communication with some patients and their carers around this particular change was not as good as it should have been and we have apologised to them for this.
"It is our aim to close the ward in the near future as part of the our long term strategy to develop a range of alternatives to inpatient mental health care and reduce inpatient beds, in line with national policy and best clinical practice.
"This has included opening three new mental health Recovery Houses to provide better alternative care environments for our patients and strengthening our Home Treatment Teams to allow more patients
to be supported at home."
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